Improving Your Code
Numerous efforts have been made over the years to incorporate healthy home provisions into housing code and weatherization efforts. The following are a sample of improvements and standards communities are adopting to improve healthy and housing quality.
National Healthy Housing Standard
The American Public Health Association (APHA) and NCHH created the National Healthy Housing Standard to be a science-based minimum performance standard for safe and healthy homes. The Standard describes healthy home standards in seven key categories with explanations for each provision about its public health rationale. Integrates public health information into housing code parlance and is a tool for property owners, elected officials, code staff, and anyone concerned about housing’s interaction with health. [pdf; NCHH,2014]
- Example of Local Housing Code Incorporating the National Healthy Housing Standard
Tukwila, Washington, has incorporated much of the National Healthy Housing Standard into its housing code.
Weatherization Plus Health
One of the most encouraging steps taken to address healthy housing is the drive to incorporate more healthy housing measures into weatherization programs. When local jurisdictions are helping homeowners weatherize and make their homes more energy efficient, they are also taking steps to ensure that the housing is healthy.
B-Cap provides resources related to residential (and commercial) energy and building codes useful to policy-makers, housing, health and energy efficiency professionals, and the public. B-Cap’s resources include a listing of state energy codes, concerns about existing codes, code enforcement, policy tool kits, guidance on building codes to meet local needs, and much more. [url; B-CapEnergy]
Green Building Codes
This is a treasure trove of information on model green codes, as well as “advance” or “stretch” codes that are pushing to create energy efficient, healthier, and more environmentally friendly buildings. It’s a great resource for policy-makers, housing and health professionals and advocates, and the private sector to learn more about how and where codes are going in the future to address climate change and resilience. [url; Building Codes Assistance Project]
Enterprise Green Communities (EGC) Criteria
Enterprise Community Partners is a national intermediary supporting preservation and development of affordable housing. The EGC Criteria is specifically geared toward affordable housing development and rehabilitation and features specific criteria to support healthy housing. [url; Enterprise Community Partners, 2015]
- Green Affordable Housing Policy by State
Learn which states have adopted green building criteria to their LIHTC Qualified Allocation Plans.
[url; Enterprise Community Partners]
U.S. Green Building Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
This page details information on USGBC’s LEED for Homes V4, including specific healthy home requirements, such as indoor air quality provisions. It also offers guidance to build better codes and provides a large Green Building Codes Resource Center with information about where and how green codes are adopted. [url; U.S. Green Building Council]
Existing Green Building Codes
An EPA compendium of green building codes, standards, and ratings from across the country, along with a listing of jurisdictions with existing green building codes and what the codes cover. [url; EPA]
International Codes that specifically promote healthier, environmentally friendly buildings: International Green Construction Code (IGCC) and reduce energy consumption: International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Similar to other codes in the I-Codes family, these codes are updated every three years. [url; International Code Council]